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Wanting to put a stop to bullying, how one girl is using her experiences to try to help other

A local middle school student is working to create an anti-bullying campaign herself and she is asking for the community’s help.

“I went to the bathroom and then I came back a couple minutes later and the kid that was sitting next to one of my friends had took the pen ink out of my pen, bent it all up and threw it across the classroom. And then he tore up all my notes and stuff and just started taking my stuff and didn’t give it back,” said 13-year-old Anastasia Nolden.

That was just on Thursday at Sandcreek Middle School, a few moments before KIFI/KIDK sat down with her. She says she’s struggles with bullying in nearly every schools she’s attended since kindergarten.

“But this year it really got to me because I see a lot of other kids getting bullied and stuff and no ones doing anything about it. I’ve tried doing things to set up groups and stuff but the school won’t let me,” Nolden said.

“As a mother, you want your kids to be able to have the opportunity to go to school and not have to fear peers and how they’re going to humiliate them and make them feel as if they are a nobody. And then to come home and cry in tears just bawling, you feel helpless because the school doesn’t listen. You try to encourage your children to report it. Nothing gets done,” her mother, Michelle Estrada, said.

Over the years with all of the bullying she has been through, Nolden has become resilient.

“I know there’s already non-bullying groups but there’s still bullying going on so obviously there need to be something done. Like when I go to report someone, I usually say, ‘this person did this and what are you going to do about it? I know you’re going to talk to them, but what are you going to do to the person that got hurt, or me that got hurt? What’s going to happen to the person?’ They don’t tell you.”

Nolden has developed a passion to stand up and make a difference.

“They say, ‘Well, just ignore them and let it roll off your back or they understand,’ but adults don’t really understand because they’re not in our shoes right now,” Nolden said. “When you’re in that situation right then, you don’t want to say anything because they just keep hurting you and you feel like if you’re going to say something then it’s not going to matter.”

Her call to action: “I don’t want people to be bystanders anymore I want them to be like literally be like, ‘Hey, that’s really not cool. If there’s more people to back everyone up or that person that’s getting bullied then it’s going to make them stop. But if it’s just one person then it’s not going to do anything.”

“I’m extremely proud of my daughter for having he inner strength and the courage to put her foot down and say, ‘This is not okay.’ And to be so passionate to the point of doing whatever it takes to save another person’s pain and agony,” Estrada said.

In a statement from school district #93:

“The Bonneville Joint School District No. 93 Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining an educational environment that protects and promotes the opportunity for students, employees, and visitors to participate or work in a safe, supportive atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities, free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive. Therefore, bullying, cyber bullying, hazing, harassment, intimidation, or menacing by students, staff, or third parties is strictly prohibited and shall not be tolerated.”

School District 93 has resources available to anonymously report bullying. That information can be found here.

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